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Workers of Coca-Cola Philippines decry attacks on labor rights

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Workers of Coca-Cola Philippines decry attacks on labor rights

MANILA – Coca-Cola Philippines has marked its 100th year anniversary with the launching of its happiness truck, making the dreams of lucky Filipinos come true. But ironically, the company is being accused by its workers of spreading unhappiness among them with its attacks on labor rights.

In a press conference, March 17, presidents of workers’ unions in Coca-Cola Philippines revealed that the company has practically refused to negotiate with them through the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Through CBA negotiations, workers, through their union representatives, negotiate with their employers regarding working conditions, wage increases, benefits and other matters.

Instead of studying the proposals of 45 unions for an across-the-board wage hike, the management of the multinational giant is asserting an individual appraisal scheme for increasing wages, which centers on what it calls “3 Ps”: performance, productivity and presence. Workers will be subjected to a performance evaluation every two months, and those who will fail can be laid off from work.

“Coke Philippines is not spreading happiness among us workers with its scheme to press down wages, reduce and contractualize its workforce, and bust our unions,” said Faustino Aguillon, Jr, president of the United Coca-Cola Workers’ Union (UCCWU) based in Imus, Cavite.

Under the 3Ps, instead of the existing wage increase and Operation Performance Incentives paid in addition to wage increases negotiated through CBA, workers will be paid wage increases only in accordance with the results of Individual Performance Evaluations that has four rankings: EP (Excellent Performance); SP (Satisfactory Performance); DP (Developmental Performance); and NP (No Performance). According to the company scheme, workers who rank ‘NP’ in the first year of the collective bargaining agreement period will receive no wage increase or a minimal “lump sum” fixed by the management. But the scheme also proposes that wages will decline in the second and third year of the agreement depending on inflation.

Leaders of Coca-Cola workers’ unions vow to defend their rights against attacks by the multinational company.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea/ bulatlat.com)
“The 3P scheme is a comprehensive attack on our rights. With one stone, Coca-Cola Philippines plans to hit three birds: workers’ wage security, job security, and union security,” said Alfredo Marañon, president of the San Fernando Coca-Cola Rank and File Union (Sacoru) based in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Yolito Fadriquelan, president of the Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa, a federation in which the UCCWU is an affiliate, said that presidents of two unions, one in Meycauayan, Bulacan and another in the Ilocos plant, have already been retrenched through the 3P scheme.

Aguillon said negotiations between the management and their union in Imus, Cavite plant are not getting anywhere. There are 160 regular workers and 150 contractuals employed in the said plant..... MORE

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/20/workers-of-coca-cola-philippines-decry-various-attacks-on-labor-rights/

On a personal note FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/21/2012

On a personal note

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Life is a bagful of memories, and it is in death that we, the living, cling to the memories of those who have left us, seeing them in a newer light. And it is these memories of a departed that make us grieve at times, give us joy at times and make us laugh at times, at the remembrance of things past.

For all the memories that I have stored in the past 50 years of my life married to Ed Olivares, while we, his family, his children, his grandchildren, his brothers and sisters, come together to mourn his death and say our final farewell, I and my family do not see Ed’s death as the end of his life. We see instead his death as a celebration of Ed’s new life, as in death, he begins to live yet another life — a new life that erases all pain and suffering he had experienced in this world; a new life and a new world that he now sees, but a world we, the living, have yet to see, which is why we grieve and mourn, not knowing as yet of the wonderful world that awaits and embraces him.

It is a new world that he lives in today; one that embraces light, such a magical light that bathes him with unconditional love and indescribable joy; one that fills him with a new-found understanding of what his life on earth was all about as he finally joins his creator; his God in whom he firmly believed, and in whom he put his unshakeable faith and trust throughout his life..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120321com2.html

7-year old girl killed by military in Panay, father and son abducted in Samar

7-year old girl killed by military in Panay, father and son abducted in Samar
The two children were playing inside their house when an M203 grenade hit their house killing Rhodelyn instantly.

Capiz — Human rights groups in Panay have decried the March 11, 2012 killing of a seven year old girl in Baranggay Tacayan, Tapaz, Capiz.

Rodelyn Aguirre was killed while her five-year old sister Rhoda was severely wounded in an explosion inside their house. They are the children of two farmers Divina and Roberto in the same baranggay.

According to reports, an explosive went off inside the two children’s house as they were playing. The explosive has since been traced to elements of the 61st Infantry Battalion’s Charlie Company encamped at a distance of more or less 200 meters from the Aguirre home. The device was said to have been a grenade from an M203 launcher.

The following day, Capt. Java, spokesperson of the 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in Camp Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz, issued a statement to the media. He said that the explosive was actually an improvised explosive device (IED) hurriedly assembled by members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

After assembling the IED, Java said, the NPAs left but were wounded in the explosion..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/20/7-year-old-girl-killed-by-military-in-panay-father-and-son-abducted-in-samar/

‘West to launch package war in Middle East’

‘West to launch package war in Middle East’

The West will launch a package war against Iran, Syria and Hezbollah as soon as they decide what to do with the Iranian nuclear program, Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of a London-based Arabic newspaper told RT in an interview.

Atwan also believes the West is not intervening in Syria because they are waiting to decide whether they are going to bomb Iran or not.

The editor of Al Quds al Arabi newspaper noted: "If they have decided to bomb Iran I think they will bomb Iran and Syria and Hezbollah. I think they will launch a package war.".... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/west-war-syria-iran-065/

Ron Paul blasts Obama for killing Americans

Ron Paul blasts Obama for killing Americans

Presidential hopeful Ron Paul has publically attacked the Obama administration’s abolishment of due process in a new editorial, calling the move a turning point in American history.

Responding to Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent justification for the extrajudicial killings of three American citizens on foreign soil, Republican Party candidate Ron Paul has penned a scathing op-ed condemning the White House for circumventing the US Constitution. Earlier this month Holder spoke at Chicago’s Northwestern Law School to discuss last year’s execution of alleged terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki and two other US-born clerics in Yemen, a decision he says the White House still defends despite criticism from citizens and lawmakers alike.

Although both US President Barack Obama and the CIA signed off on the airstrike that killed the American citizens, Washington has been relatively quiet on the matter until Holder spoke earlier this month..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/ron-paul-obama-process-014/

WikiLeaked: Ex-Blackwater ‘helps regime change’ in Syria

WikiLeaked: Ex-Blackwater ‘helps regime change’ in Syria

A US government-contracted private security firm is helping the Syrian opposition to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad regime, leaked Stratfor emails indicate. The same firm earlier operated extensively in Libya.

The private military company SCG International had been contracted to engage the Turkey-based Syrian opposition, according to correspondence released by WikiLeaks.

Their assignment was called a “fact finding mission”, but “the true mission is how they can help in regime change,”an email addressed to Stratfor VP for counter-terrorism Fred Burton says..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/stratfor-syria-regime-change-063/

What double standard? CROSSROADS Jonathan De la Cruz 03/21/2012

What double standard?

Jonathan De la Cruz
There is no reason for the prosecution and some senator judges in the ongoing Corona impeachment trial to be crying foul over presiding judge and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s decision to let Supreme Court (SC) finance officer Araceli Bayuga to testify for the defense. There is no “double standard” there as alleged by the critics who were apparently smarting from the impeachment court’s earlier decision not to subpoena two SC process servers to testify for the prosecution. As explained by SC spokesman and Court Administrator Midas Marquez, Bayuga was allowed to testify since her testimony “had nothing to do with the deliberative processes of the court and therefore not covered by the prohibition in the high tribunal’s Feb. 14 resolution.” In that per curiam decision, the court invoked its internal rules on the confidentiality of pending cases and of such privileged communications or documents during deliberations of the justices in barring the justices, court officials and employees from testifying..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120321com4.html

Flor Contemplacion’s death anniversary marked with rally vs US-NATO wars of aggression

Flor Contemplacion’s death anniversary marked with rally vs US-NATO wars of aggression


MANILA – Members of global alliance of Migrant Filipinos Migrante International marked the 17th year death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion with a protest action held on March 17 at the Chino Roces Bridge (former Mendiola Bridge). This time, they are protesting against the US wars of aggression and deployment of troops in the Asia Pacific region, including the Philippines.

Flor Contemplacion was an overseas Filipino who was sentenced to die in Singapore in 1995 for allegedly killing a fellow Filipino domestic helper.

The OFW and their families marched along Recto to Chino Roces bridge. They also condemned President Benigno S. Aquino III’s puppetry and subservience to US dictates on the country’s political and economic affairs as it endangers the lives of migrant workers and Filipinos as well.

“Seventeen years have passed when Flor was executed in Singapore. However, many Filipino migrant workers abroad are still in death row despite the Magna Carta for Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos, which is supposed to protect migrant workers,” said Gina Esguerra, secretary general of Migrante International.

The Magna Carta for Migrant Workers and and Overseas Filipinos or the Republic Act 8042 institutes policies for the promotion and protection of the welfare of migrant workers, their families and overseas Filipinos. It was enacted in June 1995, several months after Contemplacion’s execution. However, Esguerra said several administrations have passed and OFWs are still at risk not only in the hands of their employers but also in the raging wars in countries like the Middle East and North Africa where several Filipina OFWs are working.

“The protection is just in paper, but in reality, the government does not protect OFWs and the services got worse. Labor export is more intensified under the present administration because the remittances of OFWs contribute to the country’s economy. The government has forsaken the lives of OFWs in exchange for remittances,” she added.

According to a press release of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas overseas Filipino workers sent home $1.6 billion in January, 5.4 percent higher than in the same month last year.

US-Nato wars of aggression

The group call for a stop the US-Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) war of aggression in war-torn countries like in Syria as it endangers the lives of 17,000 Filipino migrant workers in the said country. In a news report, the US is planning to intervene in Syria.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of our fellow Filipino in Syria. We condemn the escalating violence being instigated and aggravated by US-Nato troops and rebels funded by imperialist forces. It is high time that the Aquino regime revises its foreign policy of staunch support for US wars of aggression and the deployment of US troops,” Martinez said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/20/flor-contemplacions-death-anniversary-marked-with-rally-vs-us-nato-wars-of-aggression/

High prices not enough; IMF urges hike in taxes 03/21/2012


High prices not enough; IMF urges hike in taxes

As if rising prices of commodities were not enough, the prospect of more and higher taxes looms by next year as an International Monetary Fund (IMF) study commissioned by the government had proposed reforms in the local tax system to be fast-tracked that include increases in the so-called sin tax and a possible tax on mobile phone text messages.

The IMF proposals contained in the “Philippines: Technical Assistance Report on Road Map for a Pro-Growth and Equitable Tax System” report also sought the tax rate adjustments to be implemented as soon as possible.

“Many excise rates need to be increased in order to recover the lost revenue which amounts to 1.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) since 1997. This revenue loss is due to a lack of indexation of the specific taxes on tobacco and alcohol products, use of old prices in classifying such products, and reduction in excise on petroleum products,” the report stated..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120321hea1.html

LRA chief grilling elicits details of oust-Corona plot By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales 03/21/2012

LRA chief grilling elicits details of oust-Corona plot

By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales 03/21/2012

A spirited interference by the house prosecution panel failed to hide details of how Malaca-ang marshalled official resources in working for Pre-sident Aquinos initiative to oust chief justice Renato Corona.

During yesterdays impeachment hearings, Land Registration Authority (LRA) administrator Eulalio Diaz III admitted having provided a bloated list of 45 properties they suspected of being owned by the Corona family.

A close friend and elementary school classmate of President Benigno Aquino, Diaz who was also instrumental in raising funds for Aquinos presi-dential campain admitted that a formal request was made by the House prosecution panel on Jan. 12 after the complaint had been filed and which followed a telephoned request was made by House prosecution panel head Niel Tupas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120321hea6.html

Villar: Abolish VAT on medicines By Angie M. Rosales 03/21/2012

Villar: Abolish VAT on medicines

By Angie M. Rosales 03/21/2012

Lawmakers reviewing the implementation of the Cheaper Medicines Act are now eyeing the repeal of the imposition of 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) on drugs as this is seen as one of the reasons for the “ineffectiveness” of the law.

“I proposed the abolition of VAT on medicines. I don’t understand why VAT is imposed on them,” Villar said, following the convening of the Joint Congressional Quality Affordable Medicine Oversight Committee (Qamoc)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120321nat3.html

Wage hike not feasible — Valte By Rocky G. Nazareno 03/21/2012

Wage hike not feasible — Valte

By Rocky G. Nazareno 03/21/2012

Malacañang yesterday rejected a proposal to increase salaries of daily wage earners by P125, saying it would “not be practicable” as this could translate into additional P1.6 trillion in labor costs to employers and could result in closed businesses and more laid-out workers.

Presidential deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said the wage increase could even do more harm than good to the economy.

Valte explained that an initial projection showed that an across-the-board, legislated wage hike of P125 would raise the salary of each daily wage earner by P3,250 a month for 26 days’ work..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120321nat1.html

LTFRB approves P0.50 provisional hike in jeepney fare 03/21/2012

LTFRB approves P0.50 provisional hike in jeepney fare

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) yesterday granted a P0.50 provisional increase in the minimum fare rate for public utility jeepneys (PUJs).

LTFRB chairman Jaime Jacob said the fare hike will be effective this morning and PUJ passengers will be paying P8.50 for the first four kilometers, up from the current P8, in the NCR.

“Public utility jitney services authorized to operate in NCR, Regions II (Cagayan Valley), III (Central Luzon), IV (Southern Tagalog) and V (Bicol) are provisionally authorized to increase fare in the amount of fifty centavos for the first four kilometers, but no increase in the succeeding kilometers, thus resulting in the provisional fare of P8.50 for the first four kilometers,” read the LTFRB order..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120321met2.html

Police bag second suspect in Tribune reporter’s attack By Gina Peralta-Elorde 03/21/2012

Police bag second suspect in Tribune reporter’s attack

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 03/21/2012

Pasig City policemen arrested another suspect in the slay-try on The Daily Tribune Malacañang beat reporter Fernan Angeles during an operation in Pasig City yesterday, police said.

The suspect, Junior Andang alias “Juan Buang,” was arrested by police operatives during a buy-bust operation along M.H. del Pilar Street in Pasig City.

The police added Angeles positively identified Andang as one of his assailants through a picture..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120321met1.html

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